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Should Marketing and IT departments merge?

Dec 20, 2019

With the increasing confluence between marketing and IT, will we see a merging of these roles in the future and what does that mean for AV teams?

Head of Strategy for PHD Media, Alex James, says a need to understand humanity combined with a way to influence through technology will see more synergies between the two roles in the coming years.

“As we as humans begin to merge (even more) with technology a necessary synergy with these two functions will grow,” says James.

“I think there will always be a balance of those that dream of how it should be and those that bring the dream to life – and they can be in either function,” she said.

So where should the function sit – in the IT or the Marketing Department?

“I think there definitely has been a necessary synergy with these two functions over the past years, and this will only grow,” said James. “I’d be remiss to play down the importance of either function though by including one in the other – both are deep specializations that are becoming more refined as new technology becomes available,” she said.

“From a marketing perspective growth has been in more ‘cross-over’ specialisms – for example, an understanding of behavioral economic principles combined with recognition of how we can prove these principles through data, and what sources might be available to do so,” she said.

The merging of human creativity required for marketing and the tech know-how required for IT can be difficult to merge. However, James says it’s incorrect to assume that both of these functions have typical traits. “Some marketing effectiveness/analyst areas require a mathematical, systems approach that wouldn’t necessarily be viewed as ‘creative’, whilst I’d argue that aspects of IT are very creative,” she said.

Given the data and privacy issues associated with big data there is also an argument for both Marketing and IT to report through to legal and compliance. “Where I see growth is in the hybrid roles – compliance within Marketing and Marketing specialists within Risk departments – to be the bridge,” said James. “Given the breadth of data/privacy potential issues and the speed at which tech developments are pushing us to think about them, I feel as though you need that separation amongst specialisms to maintain focus,” she said.

This article featured in Integrate’s 2019 Enterprise Technology Report. If you would like to stay up-to-date with other AV and technology news, make sure you’ve subscribed to our monthly newsletter, Convergence – subscribe here.
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